The Mistinguett Legend

David Bret, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-312-05471-7
Born Jeanne Bourgeois in a French village in 1875, Mistinguett--the name is a variation of the French word for dance hall--was by the 1920s the most highly paid female entertainer in the world, having appeared in numerous revues and films as well as at the Scala. Some of her songs, such as ``My Man,'' are legendary, but she was probably better seen in performance than heard on recordings. Precocious even as a child, she led an extravagant life until her death in 1956. Bret ( The Piaf Legend ) focuses on her many eccentricities, connections with Parisian low life and multitudinous love affairs (her most notorious liaison was with Maurice Chevalier). He rounds out his account with examples of her ribald lyrics and descriptions of her flamboyant costumes, in a book that says more about Mistinguett's bizarre lifestyle than about her art. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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